Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New roads lined up, to cost P32M per km

By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr. -- Inquirer

THE Department of Public Works and Highways is building 12 major road projects in the super regions over the next three years at an average cost of P32.7 million per kilometer.

In an executive report to Malacañang, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. reported that the DPWH has earmarked P44.7 billion for 12 super region road projects with a total length of 1,369 kilometers.

President Macapagal-Arroyo, in a round table forum, said that the government was doubling its spending for roads and other infrastructure for the next three years to make up for years of declining spending on these projects due to the lack of funds.

The President said she expected these roads to serve as catalysts to improve access to agriculture sources and tourist spots and boost local economies.

Aside from the government funds, these projects would be financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the World Bank and private banks.

Almost half of the budget for the super region roads is earmarked for the 94-kilometer, 8-lane Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway project which will cost P20.97 billion, or an average of P223 million per kilometer.

The other road projects are the P6.278 billion Surigao-Davao Coastal road (48 kilometers), P4.29 billion El Nido-Bataraza-Rio Tuba road (339.7 kilometers), P3.5 billion, 22-kilometer C5 Expressway (linking the North and South Luzon Expressways), P2.35 billion Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (11.2 kilometers), P2.065 billion Joe Awang-Upi-Lebak road (88 kilometers), P1.78 billion Halsema Highway (89.5 kilometers), P1.37 billion Bontoc-Tabuk-Tuguegarao road (97.8 kilometers), P1.326 billion Sibuco-Siraway-Baliguian-Gutalac road (117.13 kilometers), P517 million South Luzon toll expressway extension (36.1 kilometers), P210 million Dapitan City Dakak road (10.8 kilometers), and P100 million Dinagat-Loreto road (15 kilometers).

As the DPWH announced these projects, hundreds of families in Southern Luzon remain homeless as a result of Typhoon ‘Milenyo.’

At least 400 families are still housed in evacuation centers in different schools in Calamba City, Leonardo Apolencia, officer-in-charge of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Calamba, told the Inquirer.

He said they had built temporary restrooms for the homeless families and provided relief goods and materials for the temporary sleeping areas of the evacuees.

Apolencia said 128 evacuees would be transferred to a three-hectare resettlement area in Barangay Looc, a place intended for the railroad side residents who will be displaced by the Philippine National Railways rehabilitation project.

The other evacuees will be relocated to a place far from the riverside in Barangay San Cristobal. With a report from Niña Catherine Calleja, Inquirer Southern Luzon


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